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K-State Launching Rebranding Effort; Nickname to Remain, Says Prez

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UPDATED STORY: "Kansas State University" to Become Preferred Name for Out-of-State Promotion 


MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State University says it wants to drop the "K-State" nickname when promoting the school in certain areas. Kansas State President Kirk Schulz says the K-State tag is sometimes confusing to people in other states and regions, particularly in academic and scientific circles. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Schulz told Governor Sam Brownback and business leaders Monday that the university is moving toward having one brand for the school. He says K-State works for athletics, but in Kentucky and other places, K-State refers to different schools. Schulz said in a statement Wednesday that "K-State" is strongly recognized in the state and region, and the school is not dropping the nickname. But he says Kansas State University is the preferred name when the university is competing for faculty and students.


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The following is a prior version of the  Associated Press wire story on this topic from this morning. It is followed by the full text of the policy clarification issued by Kansas State University. 

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — It's Kansas State University, not K-State. Kansas State President Kirk Schulz says the school wants to improve its national recognition, and dropping the K-State nickname would help. Schulz told Governor Sam Brownback and business leaders Monday that the university is moving toward having one brand for the school. He says K-State works for athletics, but in Kentucky and other places, K-State refers to different schools. He says the university needs to be called Kansas State as it seeks to increase its scholarly rankings among national universities. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the transition might be difficult. The school's new long-range plan is titled "K-State 2025: A Visionary Plan for Kansas State University."

 

UPDATE: Kansas State University has issued a clarification of its position. 

STATEMENT ABOUT USE OF KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY AND K-STATE

Despite recent media reports, audiences in the state and region will still see Kansas State University referred to as K-State. As Kansas State University works to become a Top 50 public research institution by 2025, it is strengthening its brand by using the name appropriate to the audience, said President Kirk Schulz.

"We've been branding ourselves as Kansas State and Kansas State University for decades," Schulz said. "The nickname K-State has become common to those of us in the state and region, and we recognize the strength of being known to certain audiences as K-State. Whatever we're called, we are still committed to our goal of rising to the Top 50."

Schulz referred in recent remarks to how we present the university to those outside our state and region. The university has received feedback from alumni and friends throughout the world that the nickname “K-State” is often misunderstood by those in other regions, especially in academic and scientific circles, where the university competes for the best and brightest graduate students and faculty members with other top universities. For those audiences, Kansas State University is the preferred usage.

K-State is part of our brand DNA. It is not going away, said Jeff Morris, vice president for communications and marketing.

 

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